Eisteddfod audience enjoys feast of music and dance with Wales Welcomes the World concert

Wales welcomes the world. Llangollen International Eisteddfod.

Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod brought a feast of the finest music and dance to the Pavilion stage on Wednesday evening.

The array of fabulous entertainers featured in the Wales Welcomes the World concert included former Royal harpist Alis Huws, Britain’s Got Talent finalists Johns’ Boys Male Chorus, multi-award winning folk band Calan and world-renowned conductor Anthony Gabriele.

The whole glittering affair began with the traditional Celebration of Nations in which the flags of the 30 countries competing in this year’s festival were proudly paraded through the audience and up onto the stage to be greeted by rapturous applause.

There was also a presentation to the winners of the prestigious Young Choir of the World title who had won through to the final during competition rounds earlier in the day.

The Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir from Oakland, California, were presented with a trophy presented to the Eisteddfod by one of its former chairmen, Dr Rhys Davies, and his wife in memory of his son Owen who died aged 33 in 2016.

During the first rapturous appearance of Alis Huws, who performed to a global audience of millions during the coronation of King Charles III, a special message recorded by much-loved former Eisteddfod president Terry Waites was read out in which he shared his belief that harmony, as in music, is the key to world peace.

The consequences of conflict which results from disharmony was poignantly illustrated in a beautiful sequence from festival competitors Prolisok dancers from the Ukraine who recreated a pastoral scene from their homeland which is brutally disrupted by war. Even more moving was when the faces of some the dancers’ close friends killed in the fighting were projected onto the screen at the back of the stage, prompting a standing ovation.

Folk band Calan, which comprises four of Wales’s most talented virtuoso musicians, provided a lively and rousing display of their traditional Welsh music which enthralled the large audience. Later they thrilled even further during a scintillating collaboration with Llangollen International Orchestra, conducted by Anthony Gabriele.

John Boys’ Male Chorus, who were named Choir of the World at the 2019 Eisteddfod, delighted with a diverse selection of numbers ranging from the Welsh favourite Calon Lân to There Ain’t Nothing Like a Dame from the musical South Pacific.

They came back to join in the grand finale when all the evening’s artistes gathered on stage to present a hauntingly melodic piece of music specially arranged by the Eisteddfod’s Artistic Director Dave Danford which led smoothly into the Welsh national anthem, Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau.